tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC May 1, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PDT
even in private, will lead to them treating them better in public. will the banning of bad racial speech promote better behavior, better attitudes? well, it's an important question. as for what's happened so far, from nixon to romney to sterling, most would say it's better that we know what these people were saying, better for america. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. something's wrong. those chilling words were uttered last night by a medical technician present at the execution of clayton lockett, when it dawned on officials that their experimental new drug cocktail, designed to put lockett to death, was not working. ten minutes after the execution began, a doctor declared clayton lockett was unconscious. but at 6:36, lockett began writhing.
minutes later, it started getting particularly ugly. >> reporter graham lee brewer of the oklahoman was one of the official witnesses. >> he began kicking his feet, lifting his head and his chest off the gurney, grimacing, clenching his teeth, and a couple of months, he actually mumbled. >> at 6:39, a prison official said to witnesses, we are going to lower the blinds temporarily, and they did. it was clear at that point, to officials in attendance, that something was very, very wrong. >> after conferring with the ward, and unknown how much drugs that went into him, it was my decision at that time to stop the execution. >> according to an ap reporter in attendance, prison officials said they would try to get lockett to the hospital to resuscitate him. the man they were just moments ago trying to kill, well, they did not succeed in resuscitating him. at 7:06.clayton lockett was declared dead. he died of a heart attack, 43 minutes after the drug was administered, a gruesome period of what can only be described as
torture by incompetence. although when you look at the full context of this execution, when you zoom back and take it all in, incompetence is far, far too gentle a term. something more like sinister, insistent, willful malice is more apt. and no one is more central to that story of malice than republican governor mary fallin, who last night was forced to stay the execution of a second prisoner set to be executed that night. after she pushed and pushed to go ahead with last night's executions against all warnings and due process. today, she promised an investigation into the botched execution she, herself, had so zealously advocated. >> after consulting further with the department of corrections director, robert patton, we greet that an independent review of the department of corrections procedures would be effective and also appropriate. >> the two men who were scheduled to be killed last
night were found guilty of crimes so unspeakably horrible and repugnant, they deserve the harshest penalty a humane society metes out. well, oklahoma, they have the death penalty and the state was intent on putting them to death. but here's the thing, oklahoma is having trouble finding the drugs to kill its inmates. >> oklahoma had never before used the three chemicals in the combination it administered to lockett. all 32 death penalty states are struggling to find lethal injection drugs after suppliers said they no longer wanted any part of capital punishment. >> but undeterred, oklahoma, like many other states, has pressed on. not only did they decide to experiment with a dosage and combination of drugs that had never been tried before, they passed a law in 2011, declaring they did not have to tell public or even the courts what drugs, in what dosages, they were using to kill their inmates. earlier this year, lawyers for the two prisoners argued to an oklahoma judge, ruled the law
was unconstitutional. >> day successfully argued wednesday that lockett and warner have the right to know who makes oklahoma's execution drugs and how reliable they are, to avoid a painful execution. an oklahoma county district judge, patricia parish, ruled the state's secrecy law, that hides all information about the execution drugs, is unconstitutional. >> seems reasonable enough, that the public, and certainly, the prisoners themselves, should have the right to know, just exactly how the state is going to put them to death. earlier this month, the oklahoma supreme court, the state's highest civil court, issued an extremely rare stay of execution for the two men. until the court could hold a hearing on the secrecy laws at issue. well, republican governor mary fallin issued an executive order, saying, remarkably, she would go ahead and just ignore that court's ruling. and she ordered the execution to move forward. then her republican allies in the legislature, they began to initiate impeachment proceedings against the five justices who
had the gall to vote for that stay of execution. within hours, that court changed court, reversing the lower court's ruling that found the state's secrecy law unconstitutional, dissolving the stay of execution they had made earlier in the week. so mary fallin and her allies won, they ran roughshod over the state's highest court, and all of that set the stage for last night. when the state of oklahoma so egregiously botched the act of killing they had pursued so vigorously. and governor fallin had to issue her on stay of execution, first for charles lockett, who died anyway, and one for warner, who was scheduled to die last night. so, yes, oklahoma, something's wrong. and that goes for you, too, missouri and georgia, and any other state who's seeking to keep secret their experimental drug combination to carry out their killing. there's something wrong with a government so intent on killing, and yet so worried about how it all looks.
how the actual death will be meted out, they want to keep it all a secret and away from the public's prying eyes. something is very wrong, indeed. joining me now, katie fretland, a free lance reporter who witnessed the execution of clayton lockett and wrote about it for "the guardian." katie, what happened last night in that room? >> clayton lockett's execution began at 6:23 p.m. 7 minutes into its execution, he was still conscious. three minutes later, he was pronounced to be unconscious, but three minutes after that, he began to violently convulsed. he strained -- >> i just -- what happened in that moment? i mean, you're sitting in the room, there are presumably a number of witnesses. he's been pronounced unconscious. he begins to move. what is that like, what is the -- what are you thinking in that moment? >> that something is very wrong. i witnessed one execution before, but this was extremely deferent. he was covered in a white sheet, he was laying on the gurney. he began to strain and try to lift up off of the gurney.
he lifted his head and shoulders. he grimaced. he tried to speak. at 6:39, he did speak. he said the word, "man." he groaned, "man," and then at that point, the ward decided to lower the blinds from the public witnesses' view. >> what was going through the room of public witnesses when the blinds are lowered? what are you thinking at that moment? >> at that point, the state officials left the room. people -- they were trying to figure out what to do. the corrections department director got on the phone with the governor and the attorney general's office. he came back in and told us that the execution was not going ahead and that he was stopping the execution and the second scheduled execution of that night was not going to go forward. >> were the victims' family -- were the victims' families in that room as well? >> they were seated in a room behind us, through a pane of glass where we could not see them. >> so they were seeing this all transpire as well?
>> yes, as well as clayton lockett's attorneys. two of them were left sitting in the room, not knowing if he was alive or dead. we didn't find out until later that it took 43 minutes from the start of his execution, for him to die. he suffered a heart attack. they stopped the execution after 16 minutes. he died of a heart attack 43 minutes after the first drugs began. >> did they inform you, the prison officials, when they came back in to say they were suspending the execution, did they give you any information of what had happened? what drugs they had administered, in what doses, what was going wrong, where they were taking any of that? >> we didn't find out until later on. the corrections department director came across the street to speak with us in the media area and he told us that all three drugs were administered to clayton lockett, the execution did not go at all as planned. >> am i correct that this was the first time that this specific drug protocol had ever
been used by the state of oklahoma? >> yes. in march, oklahoma changed its protocol to allow five different combinations -- five different ways that they could lethally inject someone. they couldn't get the drugs that they wanted to use. in this protocol, they used a completely untried dose of the drug medazalam to sedate clayton lockett, who was not sedated ten minutes into his execution. that was followed by two other drugs that were meant to paralyze him and then stop his heart. >> what was the reaction of mr. lockett's lawyers? >> horror. they were horrified. they had no idea what was happening to their client as the blinds were closed. >> reporter katie fretland, reporter for "the guardian," thank you very much. i really appreciate it. joining me now is brian stevenson, founder and executive director of the equal justice initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation, also professor
at nyu school of law. what is going on with the administration of the death penalty in this country? because what happened in oklahoma last night is an extreme case of a state essentially running an experiment on the convicts that they are executing, for the first time, but it's not the only state that is essentially in the business now of experimenting with new drug protocols, with which to mete out the death penalty. >> well, i think the death penalty is becoming increasingly perverse. i mean, when you have states doing what oklahoma has done, which is, essentially invoking the words, state secret, to describe how they're going to execute prisoners, because they do not want scrutiny, they do not want to be accountable, they do not want transparency, you begin to see why so many of us have been arguing how the death penalty just brings out the worse in all of us. i mean, the bottom line here is that the question of the death penalty isn't answered simply by ask welcome do people deserve to die for the crimes they've committed.
you've got to ask, do we deserve to kill? are we going to be entirely sure that we're not executing innocent people, as we have -- >> but stop for one second, brian. because, basically, i'm an opponent of the death penalty and agree with you on all of that. i agree on the logistical arguments and the moral arguments. but just to zero in on what has brought us to this point of sort of horrific absurdity. there was a fairly standard three-drug protocol for lethal injection that had been used and upheld by the supreme court. that is no longer being administered. states can not get their hands on it. why is that the case? what is the disruption that's happened? >> i think that's the point, chris. you can't disconnect these broader questions. the truth of it is, is that the states want to create executions that appear flawless, that appear painless, and you cannot do that with the kind of uncertainty that has been created by these drug combinations. we were getting drugs from europe. european manufacturers said, we don't want to have anymore role in this process.
they then had to scramble. and then there were all of these questions. and what these lawyers have been arguing is that these officials don't know what they're doing. they can't ensure that people aren't going to be subjected to cruelty and torture. and i think that is part of the problem. you, then, add to that this desire to be tough, to seem as if you've got it all under control. even having two executions in one night, as part of this instinct, to create a spectacle of toughness. and you put those two things together, uncertainty, unreliability, a lack of rigor, a lack of transparency, a lack of scrutiny, and then you're going to get the kind of cruel, barbaric, torturous execution that you saw last night in oklahoma. but you can't disconnect that from the broader questions. >> and not to mention that the absence of medical professionals in large part, because the american medical association, for very obvious reasons, having to do with the hippocratic oath, which first says, do no harm, wants nothing to do with the machinery of death as well.
you also have, i mean, this stuck out to me. you have these states now scrambling to get their hands on drugs, so they can keep this going. the state of georgia obtained illegally exported subpotent drugs from a pharmacy run out of out of the back door of a run-down driving school in london, england. they used these in two executions before the dea raided georgia's lethal injection drug supply. >> when you have dea raised going on to kind of uncover illegally obtained drugs in the possession of corrections departments, again you begin to see how this all plays out. but i think you have to understand, the culture that we have created around the death penalty. you had a ruling in this case, from a judge, that said that i believe that this process is unconstitutional. and yet the state was able to
avoid dealing with the questions and findings of that judge, by simply pushing forward with an execution by intimidating judges, impeaching anybody who got in the way, and insisting on a process that would result in a dead body. and i think that's the question that we have to deal. is this culture we've created that elevated this instinct to kill, even if we're not doing it fairly, justly, or constitutionally. >> there were so many red lights that governor mary fallin and her allies ran through on the way to last night's horrific debacle. thank you for your time, bryan stevenson? >> you're welcome. today, we know why it was the only choice the nba commissioner had. up next, the incredible behind the scenes stories of what the golden state warriors were prepared to do if the nba didn't ban donald sterling for life. os to remove makeup. and bright on schedule eye roller to instantly depuff.
for instant beauty sleep, no sleep required. oh! the name your price tool! you tell them how much you want to pay, and they help you find a policy that fits your budget. i told you to wear something comfortable! this is a polyester blend! whoa! uh...little help? i got you! unh! it's so beautiful! man: should we call security? no, this is just getting good. the name your price tool, still only from progressive. it would be a scary process... truecar made it very easy... for me to negotiate, because i didn't really need to do any negotiating at all. save time, save money, and never overpay. visit truecar.com
those academic institutions ignoring it. >> we need all of you to be part of the solution. this is about respect. it's about responsibility. >> it's up to all of us to put an end to sexual assault. and that starts with you. >> but are psas and guidelines enough? coming up, i'll ask senior adviser to the president, valerie jarrett.
yesterday at just how hard the nba dropped the hammer on clippers' owner, donald sterling, after an investigation confirmed it was, in fact, sterling's voice on that now infamous audio recording in which he spouts all kind of racist nonsense. but in the 24 hours since the announcement, it's pretty clear this was less about nba commissioner adam silver ruling with an iron fist, than it was about the league's players collectively mobilizing to exert their will. according to the "san jose mercury news," the warriors had planned to go through with their pre-game warm-ups last night, take part in the national anthem, and then take the floor for the jump ball, and then once the ball was in the air, they were going to just walk off. all 15 of them. if they had their way, the clippers would have joined them in exiting the court. again, tnt sideline reporter david aldridge says all the teams scheduled to play last night were willing to just walk off the court. >> reporter: in addition, they believe that they had commitments from the other four teams, they thought they had commitments to not play to tonight.
>> the power move that was in motion last night by the players was particularly ironic when you take a listen, again, to this passage from that same infamous taped conversation with donald sterling. >> do you know that you have a whole team that's black, that plays for you? >> i support them and give them food and clothes and cars and houses. who gives it to them? does someone else give it to them? do i know that i have -- who makes the game? do i make the game or do they make the game? is there 30 owners, that created the league? >> do i make the game or do they make the game? are there 30 owners that created the league? it was a rhetorical question, and donald sterling seemed confident in that conversation of the answer. it was, in fact, he and his fellow owners that make the game. but we're discovering in the reporting that came after sterling's lifetime ban is that if the players act as one, then they, actually, are the ones that call the shots.
joining me now, marcus thompson, sports columnist for bay area news group, who reported this story in the "san jose mercury news," and bomonte jones, co-anchor of espn 2's "highly questionable." marcus, great reporting on this. how much communication was there between the players? how much organizing was happening in the day or two after the tape comes out, leading up to silver's announcement yesterday? >> for a while, they were just trying to focus on basketball. but, you know, all those reports started coming, and all the expectations that it would just be an indefinite suspension. and you start getting those grumblings about the owners really couldn't do anything. i think that really kind of got to them. you know, it put them on the side of, we have to do something. if this guy comes out with some soft punishment, then we're going to do something. so i think it was more like about saturday, sunday, they were just trying to play basketball. but come monday, they were like, we're ready to go something if this thing doesn't go how it works.
and the warriors had their plan concocted tuesday morning. >> bomonte, you have been, to your credit on the donald sterling racism beat for a while. eight years at the very least. this is a 2006 piece on donald sterling's racism should be news, is the headline. you're saying that piece got more traffic yesterday and the day before than it got -- ten times as much traffic as when you actually published it? >> that was a bit of hyperbole, but i've gotten a lot more feedback on that than i got in 2006. i can tell you that. it's been interesting, as this thing happened with sterling, people are suddenly looking at it and wondering, how did it get to this point. people are wondering, wait a minute, he was doing crazy stuff beforehand and nobody did anything about it? and i think that kind of contributed to the narrative of the story that we have now. >> was that -- how common -- people keep talking about, this was an open secret and people kind of news, and there was the elgin baylor lawsuit, an african-american former player
who sued sterling when he was working the front office in that clippers organization, a lawsuit that was ultimately dismissed. how common was sterling's personal views and also what his business practices have been. >> he's widely considered to be a slum lord. there's no one you can find that did not know that around the nba. that has generally been the perception, there have been stories written about him about how aloof he is and problematic. but with the racism, people knew about this. i haven't found anybody covering the nba that didn't have a general knowledge or understanding about the way donald sterling felt about people who were not white. he didn't hide it. and his first question for rowy massmino, was, how are you going to coach these n-words. and that's why he's hired so many black coaches up and down the line, because he knew how to talk to the n-words. >> marcus, how much of that,
just the sort of scandalousness of the contemptibility of what was represented was what was driving the kind of radicalization, i think, of the players over the course of these two, three days, as they start to think there's not going to be punishment. and start to really put together a plan that would have been -- i mean, if they had done that on that night, one of the most iconic moments in sports, in labor history, that i can think of in the last, you know, 20 years, even longer. >> oh, yeah, no question. that would have been a modern version of, you know, carlos and smith at the olympics. they were trying to make history. they were trying to send a statement, create this image that we would have seen 20 years from now, to look back on. i think the salaciousness of it all is the fact that he could come out and say this, and this gets out. it's no longer a dark secret. and for no one to respond, that bothered them. just so he can be out and say this, this is how he feels,
about the majority of the nba, and then we all go acting like basketball resumes. that's what really was getting to him. i talked to a few players who are like, as long as silver did the right thing, we're fine. but if they were going to let this go and slap us in the face, and you've got to remember, this was the same group that just took a 7% pay cut -- >> that got locked out by these same owners, who lord knows what the other 29 are saying behind closed doors. >> same owners, and they're talking about an age limit increase. so it's not like the relationship has always been harmonious, but you start adding stuff on top of this and they feel like they're giving money back, and there's all these fines and the way the game is being governed. and then on top of that, you let a guy come out and say this about them, i don't think they were going to stand for that. and the fact that it just came out. you know, it was a dark secret, like bomoni said, it came out. >> but once it came out, it was humiliating to let it go. >> these are millionaires with pride and ego.
>> bomani, do you think this will be a turning point in the labor relations, after what was a threatened wildcat strike effectively moving nba policy. >> let's see. and the question becomes, how does it get turned. the tenor of that lockout and the media surrounding and it twa those players were battered by those covering them. people openly questioning them about if they understood how every day was costs them money. for them to stand at that moment, has something changed with this union. like saying is, we're not going to take it. but a bunch of rich guys generally say, okay, we'll just work out things civilly. >> marcus thompson from the bay area news group, bomani jones from espn 2's "highly questionable," thank you both. coming up, given what you know about chris christie, how do you think he'd react if some budget bureaucrat told him his
i attack ideas, i don't attack people. and some very good people have some very bad ideas. >> if there's one thing supreme court justice antonin scalia is known for, it is his impatience with idiots. sloppy thinking, errors of logic, do not bring those in front of justice scalia. >> what about of eighth
amendment? >> i have to give you an example. you won't understand the difference. >> can you define the market? >> everybody has to buy food, sooner or later, so you define the market as food, therefore everybody's in the market. therefore you can make people by broccoli. >> that's my view and it happens to be correct. >> victims of the acid tongue of scalia must have been having a pretty good chuckle today when it was revealed that scalia himself had committed a, quote, hugely embarrassing, cringe-worthy blunder in one of his latest dissents. at issue, was whether the environmental protection agency could regulate coal pollution across state lines. the court found it could, while scalia, of course, dissented. at one point writing, quote, this is not the first time the epa has sought to convert the clean air act into a mandate for cost-effective regulation. the only problem with that, the apa argued the exact opposite in
that case. quote, the agency was defending its refusal to consider cost as a counterweight to health benefits when setting certain air quality standards. it was the trucking industry, the ore side of the case, that want d the epa to factor in cost. on top of that, the epa won the case with the court ruling unanimously in favor of the agency in 2001. you don't have to consider cost. and you know who wrote that decision? justice antonin scalia. you know, just a week ago. the conservative media was eviscerating justice sonia sotomayor for her personal and eloquent dissent in the affirmative action case, referring to her opinion as, quote, legally illiterate and logically indefensible. so we eagerly await them taking the rhetorical brick bat to their idol, scalia. i had to do something.
i saw my doctor. a blood test showed it was low testosterone, not age. we talked about axiron the only underarm low t treatment that can restore t levels to normal in about two weeks in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18 or men with prostate or breast cancer. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant, and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these symptoms to your doctor. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer, worsening prostate symptoms, decreased sperm count, ankle, feet or body swelling, enlarged or painful breasts, problems breathing while sleeping and blood clots in the legs. common side effects include skin redness or irritation where applied, increased red blood cell count, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and increase in psa. ask your doctor about axiron.
state of new jersey is facing a huge budget shortfall of $800 million, under the leadership of the fiscally conservative no new taxes governor chris christie. >> we balanced the budget without any tax increases. >> for the second year in a row, i propose a constitutionally balanced budget. >> yes, i'll with able to balance the budget and no we're not going to raise taxes. >> today, i present to you a budget that once again is balanced. >> the democratic legislature decided it was time to go back to the future, to revert to more of the same unrealistic, fantasy budgeting. >> in addition to touting his balanced budgets, christie was found of railing against new jersey democrats fantasy budgeting. now the christie shortfall is becoming evident, you may wonder, who could have possibly predicted the shortfall, when christie was drawing up a budget two years ago, prior to his re-election campaign, who could have predicted that revenues would not be what christie said they would be? this guy did. david rosen. he's the chief budget officer of the office of legislative services. new jersey's version of the nonpartisan congressional budget
office. rosen predicted back in 2012 that christie would end up with a $145 million hole in his then current-year budget and would come up $392 million short on his revenue projections for the next year. so what did governor christie do? he unleashed full chris christie wrath. >> so they needed to call in the dr. kevorkian of the numbers. david rosen, the dr. kevorkian, from the partisan office of legislative services. why would anybody with a functioning brain believe this guy? how often do you have to be wrong to finally be dismissed? >> let me read that again. "why would anybody with a functioning brain believe this guy? how often do you have to be wrong to finally be dismissed?" and the numbers began to come in, and while they weren't quite as bad as rosen predicted, christie attacked rosen again saying, man, the guy can't get
it right. but days later, the christie administration informed potential wall street investors in a bond offering that, actually, there would be lower than expected revenue. in the end, after two fiscal years had passed, rosen was exactly right, prompting richard coater to state, looks like dr. kevorkian is alive and well and 100% correct. for christie, the budget shortfall may be as bad a fiscal sin as it gets. joining me now, burt murphy. this rosen guy, what's his reputation in new jersey politics? >> he's been there, i realize today, i got an award o with a group of people on a quiz ball team when i was in high school. he was still in his job back then.
he's been doing this for many decades. and i think one of the more offensive things to people who work in that office of legislative services isn't so much the kevorkian comment, it's christie saying, the partisan office of legislative services. they regard themselves as being really above partisanship, very trustworthy, able to deal with both sides. so to them, that, like, is an attack on the very core of what they do. and that's fairly unprecedented. my sense from talking to people and reading the coverage of this is that people basically respect the office and respect rosen. this is not a guy that becomes a rhetorical punching bag for everybody all the time. >> sure. and no governor has agreed with their -- >> of course. >> has wanted to agree with what they say. no one has done what christie has done, has come out and made this one person who cannot fight back. who cannot come out and defend himself. and if democrats come out and defend him at this point, it adds ammunition to what christie is charging. >> it's dumping on him in an absentia and he's right! >> we've been told this is a fact of the change of the law at
the end of 2012 by the obama administration and the congress to increase tax rates on url level individuals. remember that the top 1% in this state pays 40% of the income tax. so when you start to make changes, they're going to change their behavior. treasury departments all over the country understandpointed the effect that raising those tax rates would have on those people's conduct. >> does that fly to you? >> it would, except for the fact that jersey knowingly predicted growth rates that were higher than any other state in the country. jersey has a very sticky, very high lingering unemployment rate from the recession. so there was no way that the numbers that they were putting up -- >> yeah, for the christie budget numbers to work, new jersey was going to have to grow at the fastest rate of any state in the union. am i correct about that? >> yes. we would have seen post-world war ii growth rates that would
have to be aided by large fiscal programs that do not exist in the modern age in the united states. >> in other words, you could tell if you scratched the numbers, they were hooey, back before any tax increases happened. >> and everyone was saying that they were hooey back then, except no one really, in the political environment of jersey, everybody was intimidated by christie. no one could call him on it. >> plus, on top of this, he's got all of this sandy federal money flowing in. which wasn't predicted, because these projections were made before sandy. >> and he had done all the gimmicks to pick all the low-hanging fruits he could do to balance his budget in earlier years. >> he's got to squeeze this for $800 million. >> he's got bigger problems than that. they owe $2.4 million in a pension payment next year. apparently, he's going to try to push that off for another year and try to do the $1.6 billion one east supposed to do this year. do that in the following year. and then call the savings from that a surplus. >> and then he's going to go to
iowa and say, yeah, my staff starts traffic jams out of political vendettas and i can't balance my budget. i'm your next republican gubernatorial -- presidential candidate. msnbc contributor, brian murphy, thank you. >> thank you. a scandal and cover-up at some of america's most prized institutions. the shocking truth, ahead.
i'm almost done. [ male announcer ] now you can pay your bill... ♪ ...manage your appointments... [ dog barks ] ...and check your connection status... ♪ ...anytime, anywhere. ♪ [ dog growls ] ♪ oh. so you're protesting? ♪ okay. [ male announcer ] introducing xfinity my account. available on any device. considering that 19% or nearly 1 in 5 undergraduate women experience attempted or completed sexual assault while in college, the white house released guidelines yesterday on how to best combat what can surely be called a sexual assault epidemic on college campuses. the 20-page report put together by a task force the president
formed in january appears to be a pretty good first step in doing that. some of the recommendations include allowing survivors to speak confidentially with a trained advocate instead of forcing the student to, quote, report all the details of an incident to school officials. what this does is ensure these crimes remain confidential, and according to the report, it makes survivors more likely to move forward with a formal complaint or cooperate with an investigation. and students will be asked anonymously about sexual assaults in order to gauge the prevalence of the crime on campus. it is intended to provide a better measure of the problem, since sexual assault on college campuses is notoriously underreported. according to a 2005 report, by the u.s. department of justice, 95% of campus sexual assaults are not reported. yesterday, i had a chance to speak with valerie jarrett, senior adviser to the president, just hours after the white house released their recommendations on how to combat sexual assault on college campuses. joining me now, valle jarrett, senior adviser to president barack obama. valerie, what was it that
prompted the creation of this task force and the report that came out today? >> well, as the president said when he announced the task force, there's more that we can do to end sexual violence on our campuses. one in five women are sexually assaulted while in college and more often than not, it happens their freshman or sophomore years. so there's still more work to do, and the president was determined that the federal government, in partnership with stakeholders around the country, should work together to come up with a series of recommendations, and that's what we announced today. >> it strikes me, this is an area in which the president would have a considerable amount of force from the perspective of bully pulpit. it seems to me that we're able to call the presidents of 20 major universities into the white house and say, you guys need to shape up, because i have looked at the data, and it is shocking. it is shocking to everyone who looks at it, everyone who has someone going to one of those schools, every donor and alma mater. it seems to me that the president could have actually quite a bit of influence in this area.
we essential think he does. and as a matter of fact, we had over 80 college and university presidents here in town several months ago, when we were working with them, to see how we could expand opportunities for disadvantaged young people, to go to college, and while they were here, i met with them and i said, this is an issue we care a great deal about. the president is going to sign a presidential memorandum, directing us to spend 90 days, coming up with new recommendations. they were certainly on notice this was coming. but i have to tell you, we were heartened to see how many colleges and universities did step up to the plate, who are going to voluntarily participate in our survey that we are recommending, that they do, who want to engage with us and who are looking for solutions. but there are certainly those who have not. who have tried to sweep this issue under the rug and who have not taken their responsibility for our young people seriously. the president often says, you know, having a child is like having your heart walking around outside of your body. and when you turn that heart over to an institution, you
expect that it's going to use everyone in its tool kit to try to make sure your children are safe. and we still have a lot of hard work to do. >> and the plain facts from all of the reporting we've seen, this pertains to my alma mater, this pertains to big college football schools, to small liberal arts institutions, is that there is an institutional bias towards keeping things in the internal disciplinary process as opposed to reporting to law enforcement. it seems to me that is a major fundamental hurdle that has to be cleared. >> well, it's a hurdle not just because of the attitude of the universities, but oftentimes the victims are hesitant to come forward. more often than not, it's somebody that the victim knows. more often than not, the victims will feel a certain sense of initial responsibility and did they do something wrong, which is why it is so important to make sure that the people who first interact with the victim, whether they're law enforcement, whether they're people in the hospitals, are trained to understand just the psychological damage that comes from this experience.
it was heartening, today, to see this amazing young woman, madeleine smith, stand up and talk about the experience that she had. and you know, any parent who heard her would say, this should not happen. not on any college campus. and so, i think what we have here, today, chris, is an opportunity. an opportunity to, as you said, for the president to put a real spotlight on an issue and to encourage colleges and universities to recognize that participating in this survey, which we're asking them to do voluntarily now, will tell us what, you know, what's the prevalence of sexual assault on campuses. what's the attitude about it? what's the awareness. and those are the first steps understanding what we have to do to end it. so we're starting out with a voluntary survey, but we intend in 2016 to make it mandatory, because we want every college university to be sharing information, because right now, what will happen, for those who come forward and do participate, the information will be transparent. but we don't want to put them at a disadvantage for participating towards solving the problem.
we want everybody to be transparent. we're going to do so from the federal government. we're going to be as transparent as we can about all the information that we have. and that's how we're going to actually combat and end this. >> there's a lot of federal money that flows to these universities and colleges, i would add, as well. senior adviser to president obama, valerie jarrett, thank you so much for your time. it's really important. >> thank you, chris. imagine having to attend classes next to the person that sexually assaulted you. it's happening. more on that, ahead.
some of the most elite, prestigious institutions in the entire nation finds themselves increasingly the subject of very ugly press coverage. right now at my alma mater, brown university, a young man who was disciplined by the university for the crime of rape and who was suspended for a year is now being allowed to attend the university alongside his accuser. as a result of the rape, the survivor says she was forced to take a medical leave of absence, telling the "brown daily herald," i lost my one semester of freedom, the same semester the rapist is allowed to come back and matriculate here at brown. at columbia, students filed complaints with the federal government, accusing systemic complaints of mishandling of sexual assault. one student wrote a letter, dear harvard, i am letting you know i give up. i will not longer receive e-mails from me, asking for something to be done, pleading for someone to hear me, my assailant will remain unpunished and life on this campus will continue its course as if nothing happened. we should also be pay attention
to some of the most cherished liberal institutions who seem to be in the business of systemically mishandling sexual assault cases as well. joining me now, laura dunn, survivor of campus sexual assault, now an activist, started an organization called serve justice, and worked with the white house as they were putting together their recommendation. laura, thank you. what did you encounter at your university when you tried to report what had happened to you? >> back in my freshman year of college, i did become a sexual assault victim. two men assaulted me, and like many victims, i actually stayed silent at first. i didn't know to talk about what had happened to me. i blamed myself too much. and it took over a year for me to even know that college had a process for me to come forward. and when i did, i actually did find, originally, a college that was supportive, someone who wanted to get me support, counseling. but when i asked for enforcement, when i asked for a consequence for what had been done to me, that's when i
actually entered into the hostile environment that title 9 is meant to address. colleges that are unwilling to assist victims. >> well, i mean, i should read first the statement for university of wisconsin, madison, which gave us this today, saying the department of education's office of civil rights found the university acted appropriately within an established law of due process guidelines and victim support standards for investigating and responding to allegations of sexual assault, specifically in your case. when you say a hostile environment, what did you encounter? >> well, for one thing, one of the young men that had sexually assaulted me, because there were two, had a no-contact directive. and he approached me at a party. i tried to walk away into different rooms and avoid him at all cost, because i didn't want anyone to know that i was taking action about a sexual assault. and he ended up approaching me and threatening me openly and hitting the walls around my head and when i told the university, they told me i should have walked away, i should have called the police, that that was my police. that's what i mean by hostile
environment. >> how is it not criminal, how is it not just an absolute violation of everything the university's own codes are, to not involve law enforcement or to not have this outside some internal disciplinary process? i mean, a no-contact order seems like insufficient accountability for the crime of sexual assault. >> i agree, but in this case, i had actually reported to campus police, at the university of wisconsin, the police are actually both sworn officers and campus officials. so i did pursue both criminal and civil, and what's unfortunate, that many people aren't realizing, the reason campuses are dealing with this issue is because the criminal justice system also has flaws. the violence against women act found that back in 1994 when this was passed. vice president biden even spoke to this. we are systemically failing sexual assault victims. we are saying that it is their fault. not just on campuses, but also in our courtrooms. and we need to change both. >> how common, in your work now, as an activist, on this issue, how common are stories like
yours? i mean, how often do you hear from young women who are, and i imagine young men as well, actually, who are sexually assaulted on campus and find themselves sort of shepherded into internal disciplinary processes that amount to very little? >> the vast majority of survivors share that. and i know back in 2010, the center more public integrity, who first shared my story nationally, did a significant study that found that the majority of reports did not end in favor of the victim. and the ones that did, even still had meaningless consequences. so it is the norm. i represent survivors who never got justice criminally, civilly, or through the campus process. we are the majority of survivors. >> it is stunning, having spent some time reporting on what happened in the catholic churching with having spent some time looking at what happened at penn state, the lesson there is that if you keep judicial processes completely internal to institution, you will produce we
reliably systemic injustice. it's just shocking to me that this is the case in the year 2014 at campuses across the country, some of the most prestigious brands in all of american higher education. laura dunn, thank you for coming on and sharing your story. i really appreciate it. >> thank you, appreciate it. >> that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. thanks, man. and thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. this is the coliseum, the ancient coliseum in rome. famous for gladiator combat, famous for staged combat between wild beasts, brought in from the far corners of the world to fight for the entertainment of the romans. famous, of course, for public executions, also staged for the entertainment of rome's leaders and rome's citizens. the roman coliseum, at least most of it, is still standing today, in rome, 2,000 years after it was built.